Called To The Moment
Suppose you like to shoot basketball. You have a hoop set up in your driveway and every day you go out by yourself and shoot a hundred balls. To the naked eye it would appear that the goal here is to get the ball in the hoop. That’s what you are trying to do.
Except that it is not. If your only goal were to get the ball into the hoop you would stand as close to the rim as possible. From this vantage, with almost no practice, you would be able to sink 95 out of a 100 balls. But that is not where you stand. In fact, you never stand in one place. You move around—back, closer, left and right.
The basketball and the hoop are only present to aid you in finding that particular stream of energy that allows you to put one into the other. If you stand back ten feet from the hoop you will not be able to sink a shot unless you slow down, feel the ball in your hand, feel your feet on the ground, see the backboard—and in so doing you will have drawn yourself into the moment, where the stream of energy necessary to put the ball in the hoop exists.
And the further back you stand, the narrower is the stream of energy you must enter to sink your shot. You can do it once if you are lucky, but to make shot after shot you must find the stream and remember it and then it is yours—and then you move back again.
When you write, you are also seeking that narrow stream of energy that says precisely what you mean to say—isolating it from all the other streams of energy coming through you at once. The more you write, the narrower your focus becomes, and the clearer your writing becomes.
You might marvel now and again and what you’ve done when you’ve truly found that stream, but the words or the story were never the point. You selected a challenge called writing, from the vast universe of challenges available to you, and this challenge called you into the moment, in search of a particular stream of energy. And what you found upon discovering this stream was not some character or story, but yourself.